Saturday, February 28, 2009


This has been an incredible two months for me. I got to watch the European Figure Skating Champonships, the American ones and the Jr. World's. The American was on the same week as the European, but wasn't shown here until last week. It was fantastic to get a good picture of who will be competing in the World's next month. Seeing the Jrs was a rare treat because the Jrs are not usually broadcast at all.
WAtching the Srs on both Eurosport and ESPN so close together served to emphasize the difference in commentating skills between the ones on each network. ESPN usually has big name winners from the past commentating. Eurosports has has ex medalists and some are even coaches today. They are, however, much better commentaters than the ESPN crew. They really are good and are positive about all the skaters. They have some great patter that makes listening to them seem more personal somehow. It truly is a night and day difference. I'm glad that we will get World's through Eurosport. They make it ever so much more pleasant.
After watching the Europeans I wondered if the Americans would have anyone to give them a fight because they were fantastically good. Then, I got to see the Americans while the Europeans were still fresh in my mind. Worl's is going to be a breathtaking battle in most of the competitions. I can't wait for the miracle of TV to transport me to Los Angeles for the 2009 World Figure Skating Competition. Thank you Eurosport.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


It hit me the other day that things have really changed in my outlook since the first days, weeks, and months after my stroke in 1998.
One of the first things I did after getting my first scooter was to get a proper mobile phone. I remember wondering if I would even live long enough to get to the end of the 36 month commitment period. I also remember wondering every time I made any kind of plans whether I'd still be around to carry them out. Having made it this far, 11 years post stroke, and almost 4 after the heart attack, I've gradually stopped wondering about making plans or thinking about making them for more than a month in advance. Don't get me wrong. I'm not taking anything for granted. I am perfectly well aware that I might not wake up on any given morning, and do give heart felt thanks when I do wake up. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I love my life. Being a gimp is better than not being. I wonder if that has anything to do with not having any expectations. I just somehow seem to charge ahead and deal with things as they come up. Living my life is a little like following a soap opera every day for 57 years. I always want to know what will happen next and how things will resolve themselves. I guess it would be fair to say that I am my own daytime soap opera.
Quirky? Did someone call me quirky?


I sometimes wish that my mind would stop surprising me. Too much thinking is tiring. I realized not long ago certain of my body parts seem to have taken on lives of their own. They pretty much split into two categories. Those I once was proud of, and those that I always had semi phobic uneasy feelings about. I think that maybe proud is not the exact word I'm looking for. Pleased with might be better. I liked that my shoulders were straight across and even. They no longer are because the motorcycle katyusha run in has my left shoulder in a permanent droop that there is nothing to be done about. Never mind my once flat stomach. I'm dead serious. Never mind that.
I was always somewhat protective of my neck. I love turtle necks because they gave me what was obviously a false sense of safety there. So, of course I ended up having surgery there. The tops of my feet were always problematic partly because I have very high arches and the bones on the tops of my feet were very sensitive to any pressure. That made it very hard to find comfortable shoes and my skates had to be custom made. Right. So, now I have a burn right on the top of my left foot that is going to win a place in a record book for being the slowest healing burn in the history of the universe.
I just found it interesting that those very same places all have given me trouble over the last 10 or so years. At the end of the day, none of those things turned out to be a big deal, I just found myself thinking about them. Anyone who has the foolish idea that I might waste my mental energy thinking about 'normal' things had best be dissuaded immediately! Never been 'normal', never wanted to be 'normal' and never will be 'normal'. My natural state of quirkiness suits me just fine. Ah, Someone at one of my other blogs was kind enough to pay a compliment by saying that she finds my logic quirky, yet somehow sane. I can live with that!

Monday, February 23, 2009


You know those crazy up and down times? When the problems seem unsurmountable? Last week was pretty much like that. Harley's batteries need replacing. They are literally on their last legs and doing damage to the charger. A new pair of batteries cost 1300 shekels and change at the cheapest place in town. They cost well over 2000 at the factory. As usual, I'm skint and just don't have the dosh. I did what I usually do in these situations. I went to ask the 'boss of my money', the assistant manager of my bank what she thinks I should do. Her suggestion was to up the limit on my credit card. Then I had a flash of brilliance and remember a card that was last used when everything blew up in my face with my ill fated excursion into the business world with Shmaryah. The last time I tried to use that card, it was refused. I called the company and they said something about my bank. Now, that card is not bank issued. It's what they call here 'independent credit'. and has nothing to do with the bank. The monthly payments on that card have been going along just fine for at least two years, so I asked her, if maybe using that one might be a better idea, and she agree. I sped home and called the company and they told me that the card is just fine and there is no reason it shouldn't work. Talk about the luck of fools. I have over 3000 shekels credit to use on that card.
So, on Friday, Golan and I headed for the cheap battery store. They only had one, and I need a pair, so, I ordered a pair and they will let me know when they come in. In the meantime, I have enough go go juice to get to town a few more times.
On Friday I opened my wallet to get the credit card out to pay for an official paper that I need for the housing authority and discovered that my main card was missing. I went though every single thing in my bag of holding and it wasn't there. It's no big deal as it's pretty much at it's limit and can't be used to buy much of anything. I have another one with the same number, so, no biggy. I decided that it will either show up or not. Well, it did indeed turn up yesterday, at my cigarette store. So, that's ok. My guardian angel has been working over time. I am most grateful. Now I can buy the batteries for Harley and pay the 600 shekel court fee to file the thing against Shmaryah. Getting the judgement against him will solve a great many problems.
Oh, and, now that the oil has been changed in the car I can go to my orthopedic guy. If it ever stops raining, that is. Futzing around with the car and the wheely is no fun at all in the rain. Right now it looks like Wednesday might be ok. My secret weather source says there will be one day off from the rain, then it starts up again over the weekend and the next week. That's ok. I can get a lot done in one day.
So, it's been a good week, on the whole.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Rachel, my cleaning lady was here this morning. We had decided the last time she was here to clean the open shelves in my wardrobe. To start she took everything out and just piled it up on the bed. We found lots of missing items, among them, the plate that used to be in my shoulder that I turned into a necklace, the DVD with the second and third sequels to Smokey and the Bandit. The first one is still missing which makes me a lot less unhappy at having ordered them again. We also found my bottle of Jean Nate that I knew I had, but couldn't find. I love that stuff and am really glad we found it. Rachel cleaned the shelves, then dusted each and every item before putting things back. It looks much better, and the found items are where I can get to them.
I also am pleased to announce that after way too much time, my car is sorted and ready to go again. I managed to get an oil filter and enough oil to do a much needed oil change on the car.After Rachem left, I hopped on to Harley and went to pick up the filter and oil. I had a feeling that inspite of having been plugged in all weekend that Harley's batteries didn't charge. I'm amazed that I made it there and back. I have a sick feeling that the charger is shot. The lights light up, but it doesn't whir like it's supposed to when charging. As I have to go out in the morning, I'll check the charge before leaving and if it isn't full, I'll just use Moshe's until McGyver can bring me the spare one. This is just what I don't need. Golan did the actual work with me supervising. I've seen some bad oil come out of engines, but this was disgusting. It felt bad too. Oh, well, it now has a brand new oil filter and new oil and is ready to travel.
It was fun messing with the car, even if I couldn't do much. After all, an oil change is something I used to do myself as a matter of course. I've seen some bad oil come out of engines, but this was The original plan was to get it ready to go my orthopedist tomorrow, but it's going to rain all day, so, we'll do it on Thursday. It's miserable to go someplace in the car and mess with the wheely in the rain. Plus, I have to leave Harley chained to my parking space post in the rain, not to mention wade through a iniature ocean to get into the car because the rain water collects right by the driver's door. It can wait until Thursday. After a quick lunch I organized a bunch of papers that I have to give to my lawyer tomorrow. That took ages, but, now they are all neetly organized in a pretty purple binder thing. After that, there were even more papers and things that needed sorting, so I got on with that, and after much back and forthing to the spare room, finaly finished and crashed for a nap. And, now, it's 0100 and time for bed, after I answer a few e mails. I'm feeling quite satisfied that I got so much done.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I have now fullfilled my civic duty and voted for the 18th Knesset and a different Prime Minister. I can't exactly call the one I voter a new Prime Minister because the one I voted for has already held the position once, and I hope he'll get it again. I guess that makes him a new/old one.
The weather folks have been predicting a stormy day for today with lots of rain and high gusting winds. It's cloudy and cold, and there has been drizzle on and off, but no storm. Just goes to show Who really controls the weather! Unlike in the municiple elections, the vote for PM is not separate from that of Knesset, so I couldn't mess up like I did the last time. One slip goes in the envelope, and that's it.
From there, I went into town to get cigarettes and the guy where I buy them told them that they are having a special offer on my brand; a free carton for Shas voters. I could have lied and told him I'd vote Shas even though I'd already voted, but, I'd rather pay than say such a thing. Shas is pretty close to the last party I'd ever vote for. But it was fun for a few laughs.
Yesterday I ended up having a nice long nap and was awake long into the night.I was out for a little longer than expected. There was a meeting of The Five where we sorted a whole bunch of interpersonal issues which was a little draining, to say the least. After that, I checked my mail box and found that a DVD I'd ordered had arrived, so, off to the post office I went to pick it up. When I got home, I pretty much collapsed on the bed a fell asleep. I wanted to watch the DVD (Smokey and the Bandit on the lap top in bed, but the lap top was stuck and refused to turn itself off or do anything else so I watched it here. Golan came over to use the computer, so I went to bed to stay warm and discovered that the computer had unfrozen itself so I watched the two sequels. Then, my night time Fox News shows were preempted by Obummer of the jug ears and I went to DVR and watched a few recorded things. I really don't want to hear what he has to say as he's about as honest as the average Kadima Knesset member. In other words a pathological liar. More of that on my other blogs.
Tonight is going to be long and nerve wracking waiting for results. I might just watch my new DVDs again and leave one of our news stations on in the background without sound.

Monday, February 09, 2009


Golan came in during the evening with the news that the sewage issue has been resolved. I was not exactly surprised by that news. He went to city hall in person, Ayala called them and I sicced the national press on them. They didn't exactly have much of a choice. That's a good way to get things done around here. Hit them from several directions at once! I had an idea the other day for solving some of the congestion in my computer corner. Back during the 2006 war, Golan and I went to my friend's plant nursery and I bought a wood planter holder thing. It's just been sitting around here gathering dust and it struck me that it could be hung on the wall above the desk and be a good place for all the disks to live. Golan liked the idea and said he'd put it up for me as soon as he got his hands on a drill. He came over with brackets and a drill to put that up as well as a purple coat rack thing my friend Susie made and gave me when I was with her in the States. I told him that was great, but first we have a major emergency to deal with. Before anything we must find my ear. It was pretty much where I thought it would be, under my bed right where I was sitting to get dressed. I now have my ear back, the planter turned shelf, and coat rack up and in use. And here's the planter shelf in all it's glory!

And the really cool part is that I can reach it from where I sit! Being tall does have it's advantages. The only real drawback to being tall is that it's a long way down when I fall. But otherwise, it's advantageous for reaching those things on a high shelf in a kitchen cabinet and cleaning out cobwebs from ceiling corners! Tall is good.
I'm not posting the coat rack picture because it's covered with coats and jackets. You'll just have to take my word that it looks good and is purple. Thanks Susie.
For a day that started off kind of stinky, it sure did end on a very satisfying note.

Sunday, February 08, 2009


If we are not going to have a proper winter with lots of rain and thunderstorms, maybe the weather would be kind enough to warm up to the point where it's at least as warm inside as it is outside? There is something just not right about coming inside from a nice semi warm, wintery sunny day to a meat locker kind of cold.No, no, no, I am not complaining about the weather, just mentioning it is all. I can stand it here for a few more minutes, then I'll change back into my nighty and robe with a sweater over the whole shebang.
Golan and I have a new project. There is a thing called a Kollel in Hebrew behind our houses. A kollel is a combination synagogue, study house where a group of Ultra orthodox men pray and study all day and usually get an allowance to support their families while they contribute to the community through prayer. One of the problems with this kollel is that it is run and used by the local criminal element. The building and land are owned by The Union. One fine day a group of these self proclaimed religious men showed up and started to renovate the building. The Union went to court to try to get them out, but as these men of The Word are anything but, they threatened The Union until it backed off and gave them the place by default. Since then, they have totally rebuilt the building, taken over a public bomb shelter, added bathrooms and a kitchen, fenced off the compound, and included privately owned land inside the fence. There is a stream just behind this area that they used as a rubbish tip, on the grounds that here has been so little rain that it doesn't matter if they turn it into a garbage dump. We have been wondering lately why the neighborhood smells so bad lately and naively thought it was just another sewer back up. But, no. It's a pipe that is dumping raw sewerage straight into the stream. Just a few meters downstream from the pipe is a lovely area near a foot bridge over the steam where people like to sit on hot summer evenings and let their children wade in the stream. That won't be happening next summer if that stinking mess doesn't get cleaned up PDQ.
Golan and I are on a crusade to stop the kollel from doing any more damage to the area. The bomb shelter they took over is now used as a sales office for illegal substances. Just what we need in this neighborhood. No one in a position to wants to take these thugs on. The head of the kollel has an inside track with the cops and informs on his competition so the cops leave him alone. Elected officials are scared of him for various reasons, among them the fact that he knows where a lot of skeletons are buried. Today was the last straw as far as I'm concerned. I took pictures of the freely flowing sewerage and called my favorite reporter for a nation E newspaper. He said he'd look into it. I'll call my other favorite reporter later to check up on it. If he didn't get anywhere, I have a nice long list of other favored reporters who just love stuff like this.
This is where it comes out.

Would you want to wade in this water, never mind let your kids?

I decided not to focus on objects that were being swept downstream by the current. I'm sure you can imagine that for yourselves. That water used to be clear. In fact, our local drinking water comes from the same stream, luckily very far upstream from here.
I think it's time to go change into something warmer and go on a search for my 'ear'. I had my blue tooth ear piece on when I got dressed but it disappeared during that process and didn't show up after a cursory search. I will find it now because it couldn't have just gotten up and walked away.Could it?